Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Eleventh Plague

by Jeff Hirsch

Goodreads Summary:
The wars that followed The Collapse nearly destroyed civilization. Now, twenty years later, the world is faced with a choice—rebuild what was or make something new.

Stephen Quinn, a quiet and dutiful fifteen-year-old scavenger, travels Post-Collapse America with his Dad and stern ex-Marine Grandfather. They travel light. They keep to themselves. Nothing ever changes. But when his Grandfather passes suddenly and Stephen and his Dad decide to risk it all to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen's life is turned upside down. With his father terribly injured, Stephen is left alone to make his own choices for the first time.

Stephen’s choices lead him to Settler's Landing, a lost slice of the Pre-Collapse world where he encounters a seemingly benign world of barbecues, baseball games and days spent in a one-room schoolhouse. Distrustful of such tranquility, Stephen quickly falls in with Jenny Tan, the beautiful town outcast. As his relationship with Jenny grows it brings him into violent conflict with the leaders of Settler's Landing who are determined to remake the world they grew up in, no matter what the cost.

My Review:
Dystopia is the place to be, apparently. After the surge in popularity with The Hunger Games, many authors are looking toward the future to set their stories. It could be easy to get bogged down, trapped in a seeming repeat of other stories. I believe that The Eleventh Plague escapes this and finds a unique story to tell. 

The first change from many of the dystopia out there is the protagonist. While there is something that I can appreciate about a strong heroine, it is nice to see a hero put into the same role. I also like that Stephen wants so badly for things to be 'normal' that he is willing to give up so much to achieve that. I feel like I would act in a same way. 

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